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I believe SA has the capability to start such a venture (with the majority of aust's defence companies based there). So why not?


Sky spy base plan for SA
By PAUL STARICK
15apr06

ASTRONAUT Andy Thomas wants to use Woomera as a base to fire spy satellites into space aboard missiles launched from high-flying aircraft.

Science Minister Julie Bishop has expressed interest in his plan, designed to ensure Australia develops satellite security monitoring of its coastline.

The Adelaide-born National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronaut in the U.S. dismissed suggestions his $140 million plan was "pie-in-the-sky", saying ignoring it now would put "the national interests at risk some time in the future".

"The greatest benefit to the country would be that such satellites, carrying the right kinds of sensors, would have huge strategic value to the country," Dr Thomas told The Advertiser.

"(They) could be used to help protect the shores and maintain national security. This is going to be of paramount importance in years to come ..."

Under Dr Thomas' plan, the Federal Government would spend $140 million to $150 million over 10 years to upgrade the disused Woomera space launch centre.

He outlined his passion for an Australian space program to Ms Bishop during a visit to Australia last month.

"I was interested in his views. I respect him as an astronaut and as a scientific thinker and I've invited him to send me his thinking," Ms Bishop said.

Dr Thomas said reviving Woomera as a space base would create hi-tech jobs and reap economic rewards by allowing commercial use.

Australia would develop its own satellite program, which Dr Thomas said was feasible because "some universities are developing and flying their own satellites".

Urging the Government to start a technical feasibility study, Dr Thomas said Australia now was relying on spy satellite information from other countries.

"How can we be assured that those assets will be available to Australia in times of national emergency?" he said.

"Clearly, we cannot. That is why Australia needs to own its capability."

Part of Dr Thomas' plan involved space tourism but he said that alone was unlikely to make a Woomera launch base viable.
 

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TOCC said:
spy satellites cost too much, its much easier just leeching off americas and letting them spend all the money on it
Based on your logic we should dissolve the ADF and allow the Americans to spend all the money on our defence?.

Thats(satelites etc) also the dumbest thing, in terms of national security and strategically that they could do, leaving it to the Americans or any other country for that matter permanently.

And they need not be gigantic things. There are mini-spy satelites, that many countries use already.
 

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Rev said:
Based on your logic we should dissolve the ADF and allow the Americans to spend all the money on our defence?.
No, thats not my logic at all, why spend billions of $ on something when the yanks already do it. You have got to understand that there is a extremely high level of co-operation between a number of countries in the world when it comes to things like this.

Thats(satelites etc) also the dumbest thing, in terms of national security and strategically that they could do, leaving it to the Americans or any other country for that matter permanently.

And they need not be gigantic things. There are mini-spy satelites, that many countries use already.
Now you obviously know very little about the topic of national security, there are several countries in the world all relying on each other to make sure certain parts of the world stay in check. It would be impractical of Australia to spend money to double up on information that the US could already give us, Whilst i agree its risky leaving it up to them its just way to exspensive aand impractical to produce our own.

Now what kind of 'Spy' information do you think we will be able to receive from a spy satelites that would be of dramatic importance to australia?
 

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If you read the article, its for monitoring out north.
You are aware of the problems up there right?


And no, that is exactly your logic. The US spends money on that, so we shouldnt bother. Well the US spends 500 billion on defence, why should we bother to spend 16 billion, let the Yanks take care of our defence.
Same logic.

No, thats not my logic at all, why spend billions of $ on something when the yanks already do it.
Weak argument. No offence, but its the same logic. Why should we, because someone else is already doing it.
You know how they work at times?
We might be one of their close allies now, things may be all rosey, but what happens when things change? We cant rely on other countries for OUR DEFENCE. Simple.

Sorry but we are our own nation, with our own issues, our own problems, etc.
You think if theres a major war, that those US resources will still be there to monitor our northern waters and coasts? You think the Americans will think twice before pulling them?
 

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Rev said:
If you read the article, its for monitoring out north.
You are aware of the problems up there right?
yes i know a lot more then you ever will, i bet your one of those people who pronounce Banda Aceh the english way still.

And no, that is exactly your logic. The US spends money on that, so we shouldnt bother. Well the US spends 500 billion on defence, why should we bother to spend 16 billion, let the Yanks take care of our defence.
Same logic.
The yanks practically are our defence, its not our tiny little defence force that is keeping enemies out of this country its the big brother looking over our shoulder thats scaring them off.

Weak argument. No offence, but its the same logic. Why should we, because someone else is already doing it.
You know how they work at times?
We might be one of their close allies now, things may be all rosey, but what happens when things change? We cant rely on other countries for OUR DEFENCE. Simple.
I know what your trying to say, but as someone who is in defence who actually deals with this situation, it wont happen. We have been close military allies with the US since WWII, even through times of animosity and political differences the military links have still stayed strong. Australia rely massively on the US, and the Yanks rely on us not to give there secrets away.

A couple of years ago a aussie lost a radio, now thanks to the close relationship between the yanks and aussies we ran radios on the same codes and freqs as they did. So when the aussie lost the radio soldiers in australia and the us had to wipe that set of codes clean because of it. Thats just a example of the level of trust and cooperation between the two.

Sorry but we are our own nation, with our own issues, our own problems, etc.
You think if theres a major war, that those US resources will still be there to monitor our northern waters and coasts? You think the Americans will think twice before pulling them?
yes because australians cant deal with a couple of boats of illegal immigrants or illegal fishing can we?

I understand that you want Australia to be all powerful with there own spy satellites and powerful armies, but unfortunately we dont have the funding nor the reason to do so. Americas spy satelites are a side effect of the cold war, as opposed to australia trying to get it up in a time of peace where the biggest threat now comes from terrorist which satellites are largely ineffective against.

Sure they can zoom in from space to see a figure walking to a car, but without the other intelligence that gave us his location to start with you wouldnt be able to do that. Still doesnt warrant billions of $$ when the yanks can do it.

Basically the yanks have the same agenda as us, they have assests in countries we do and dont want to see things taken over. If you havent noticed possible world feuds have now turned into a more east vs western thing. So something which could be potentially dangerous to us could also harm the US, which is why they want to stop it.
 
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